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MVHS holds ceremony for final beam placement in upcoming hospital in downtown Utica

Crews place the final beam on the steel shell of the upcoming Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) hospital in downtown Utica. Officials from MVHS and its project partners on Tuesday held a ceremony to mark the milestone in the ongoing construction effort. (Photo credit: MVHS)

UTICA, N.Y. — The Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) on Tuesday held a ceremony to place the final beam on the upcoming downtown Utica hospital and to acknowledge completion of the steel work.

Representatives from project partners Gilbane Building Company and Hammes Company joined MVHS officials for the “topping off” ceremony, which they consider a “major milestone” in the construction effort.

Hammes Company, a Milwaukee, Wisconsin–based health-care consulting firm, is the project-management company that MVHS hired to facilitate the new hospital project.


Providence, Rhode Island–based Gilbane Building Company has New York offices in Syracuse, Rochester, Albany, Buffalo, Corning, and New York City, per its website.

Those involved commemorated the milestone by painting the beam white and having the steel-erection crew, construction team, designers, owners, and others sign the beam for posterity.

“This is such an exciting day for MVHS and this project as the framework for our new medical center is now finished,” Darlene Stromstad, president and CEO of MVHS, said in a release. “A spotlight has been shown on the health-care field over the past year, and everyone has been feeling the stress and strain of the continued COVID-19 pandemic. The need for a state-of-the-art facility in our region is apparent and I think this project provides a beacon of hope for the future in these tough times. It’s so exciting to now see the frame of the new medical center and get a better idea for how it will look once it’s finished.”

As MVHS explains it, the beam is typically adorned with a small evergreen tree and an American flag on opposite ends once crews are ready to place it on the steel shell.

The custom “celebrates the construction process and is viewed as the first introduction of the building to the public and it uniquely honors the accomplishments of the construction crew,” MVHS said.

“We have been progressing on this project as planned and are actually slightly ahead of schedule with the completion of the steelwork,” Robert Scholefield, executive VP of facilities and real estate at MVHS, said. “One of the next steps in the construction of the new regional medical center is to start putting up the podium panels that will be the base for the brick on the bottom two floors. The exterior of the first two floors will be brick and the towers will be metal paneling. All of the paneling needed for the podium has been fabricated and is ready for delivery — another significant milestone.”



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